News Fatima Khan, mother of Abbas Khan, is comforted by her son

32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon from London was captured in November last year in the ancient city of Aleppo

Simon Calder: What joyless advice. Port Said is like Liverpool – with sunshine

While some of the grandeur has crumbled with Egypt's fortunes, the main arteries are infused with commerce and humanity

Fragile ceasefire holds in Syria

Tens of thousands of Syrians poured into the nation's streets today for anti-government protests, activists said, in the first major test of a fragile UN-brokered truce.

Abu Hamza timeline: Key events in the case

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza has lost his fight over extradition to the United States.

Teenager jailed for stabbing stepfather to death

A teenager has been jailed for five years after admitting stabbing his stepfather to death in a row over a television.

An Afghan villager shows an empty canister allegedly used during Sunday's shootings to the delegation

Taliban attack Karzai delegation at scene of US shooting massacre

Afghan officials come under fire as they distribute money to families of the bereaved

Syrian troops clash with defectors

Syrian troops have shelled a southern village and clashed with army defectors holed up inside in violence that killed a 15-year-old boy and five government soldiers, activists said.

Workers bulldoze the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed

Bin Laden's last refuge is razed in the dead of night

Pakistan brings in the bulldozers to destroy any chance of the spot where the al-Qa'ida leader died becoming a shrine

Snookered, Oldham Coliseum

Wow! This is the most accomplished and assured first play I have seen for years. It is all the more extraordinary for being written by an Asian taxi driver from Middlesbrough who was driving his cab one night listening to Five Live when it announced a writing competition. Next day he sat down at his new computer.

Pillar talk: The Ben Youssef Medersa

48 Hours: Marrakech

From the ancient medina to the Palmeraie, Morocco's Rose City offers a warm escape from the cold of winter.

Guilty plea in Obama death plot

A man from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty to plotting to kill US president Barack Obama with an automatic rifle claimed he was acting at the direction of an Islamic terror group in his home country.

Three Derby men jailed for anti-gay leaflets

Three men became the first in Britain to be jailed under new anti-hate laws yesterday after being found guilty of distributing a leaflet calling for the execution of homosexuals.

Abu Hamza, pictured addressing his followers outside Finsbury Park mosque in north London

Christina Patterson: Even bad people have rights

He doesn't have a hook. He does have a big bushy beard, and eyes that don't look all that friendly, but Omar Mahmoud Othman, who's also known as Abu Qatada, doesn't have a hook. It's Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, who's also known as Abu Hamza, who has a hook instead of a hand.

Amol Rajan: Mayor has had a starring role in re-shaping our city

On Tuesday I said that if he is going to be re-elected as Mayor of London on 3 May, Boris Johnson cannot afford for 68 per cent of voters in the inner boroughs to support Ken Livingstone. He needs to court those people vigorously, and explain that he has delivered a better city for them. How should he do that?

Emir leads prayers for Kano killings

The Emir of Kano and the state's governor offered prayers yesterday for the more than 150 people killed in co-ordinated attacks by the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, though fear kept many Nigerians from coming to the mosque.

Bomb kills 13 in Pakistan

A bomb blast ripped through a religious procession in eastern Pakistan today, killing 13 people and wounding at least 20, police said.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas